E arly in the 20th century, 100,000 wild tigers wandered freely on Earth. Today, around 3,900 tigers are left in the wild; the diminishing population is a result of rampant poaching and habitat loss. Bringing arts and wildlife conservation together, Sotheby’s presents a special auction with the World Wide Fund for Nature, Singapore to increase awareness of the urgent action needed to protect tigers.
In celebration of the Year of the Tiger, WWF Tiger Trail presents 33 life-sized tiger art sculptures, designed by renowned international and local artists, appearing against the backdrop of iconic Singapore landmarks from 26 February to 9 April. Proceeds from the auction of these works along with more than twenty unique art pieces will be auctioned will support WWF’s tiger conservation work to protect forest habitats, support field rangers and engage local communities in Southeast Asia.
Bringing Tiger Sculptures to Life
Each sculpture represents a unique perspective on how climate change, poaching and deforestation are affecting tigers in the wild. The sculptures will raise awareness of biodiversity in the region by using tiger as a key indicator, whilst simultaneously showcasing local and international artists.
Artist Name: Zhang Huan
Sculpture Name: Poppy Tiger
"The core of my art comes from the Tibetan culture of Kangrinboqe. The skull elements are the symbol of the patron gods in Tibetan culture. To me, they are spirits, representing every life entity and life cell from the universe. The tiger is densely covered with brightly colored skulls in order to convey the natural law of coexistence between us and the tiger, human and nature."
Artist: Ashley Yeo
Sculpture Name: Tiger with Flowers
Featuring falling flowers over the tiger, the painted florals feature various species of endangered and rare flowers as a reminder to preserve the remaining landscapes for the protected flora and fauna.
Artist: Ian Davenport
Sculpture Name: Chromatic Tiger
Inspired from his main signature works of controlled dynamic pouring of paint, Ian Davenport here uses unique lines to suggest the individuality of tiger stripes. The stripes are rendered in bright colourful, dynamic colours to emphasise its majestic unique beauty, contrasted against the black areas of absence and loss.
The concept invites audiences to consider the survival of two beautiful forms, the passion, dedication and sacrifice that is required to keep them alive and the consequences if we fail. It marries an endangered craft, lion-dance making, with the tiger, an endangered species. The tiger head replaces the traditional lion head.
Materials and processes employed are based on those found in traditional crafts. The main construction material is rattan shell framework, similar to the making of the lion dance head. Below is a metallic finish coat.
Knotting and cording are used to secure the joints, showcasing the art of Chinese knots.
Red Hong Yi is a Chinese-Malaysian contemporary artist who makes work expressing her heritage and Chinese diasporic consciousness. Known as “the artist who paints without a paintbrush”, she creates mixed media installations by reinterpreting everyday materials through the accumulation of objects.
Read more about the highlighted artists, their concepts for the Tiger Trail sculptures, and how tigers have inspired their art.
“I have featured Tigers in my work for the last ten years, highlighting their plight as an endangered species, through my portraits in oils and watercolours. I wanted to connect this journey with my sculpture…. My aim was to create movement and a realistic quality to the work, whilst highlighting the scarcity and precious existence of these magnificent creatures.”
The Art of Saving the Tiger
The tiger is a powerful living symbol inspiring art across different cultures. Part of the event, WWF Tiger Trail will showcase more than twenty unique fine art pieces inspired by the tiger. The special exhibition features paintings, prints, sculptures, and ceramics by internationally acclaimed artists, raising awareness of the tiger’s role in mitigating climate change and protecting biodiversity.
Artists: Bharti Kher & Subodh Gupta
Sculpture Name: PULI
In a one-of-its-kind collaboration, Bharti Kher and Subodh Gupta come together again for charity, to create an artwork that extends both artists’ long-standing explorations of found objects and ritual within the everyday. Combining elements from their signature materials – the utensil, and the bindi – with a fibreglass tiger head, the unique piece speaks simultaneously to their commitment towards art as a vehicle for social good.
Supporting Tiger Conservation
Funds raised will support Tiger Conservation programmes across Southeast Asia, where tiger populations are most at risk. Tigers are already extinct in Singapore, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam. Proceeds will deliver impact in Malaysia and Thailand, as well as in Singapore.
- PROTECT THE MOST IMPORTANT AND BIOLOGICALLY RICH FORESTS AND HABITATS
- STOP ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFE
- GROW MARKETS FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES
- ENGAGE LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO HELP PROTECT & PATROL HABITATS
PROTECT THE MOST IMPORTANT AND BIOLOGICALLY RICH FORESTS AND HABITATSPhannapast “Yoon” Taychamaythakool
STOP ILLEGAL TRADE IN WILDLIFERonnie Wood
GROW MARKETS FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIESWasinburee Supanichvoraparch
ENGAGE LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO HELP PROTECT & PATROL HABITATSTemenggong Artists-In-Residence X Enabling Village X The Art Faculty X The Animal Project